Profitable Facebook® Ads – 6 Top Tips for Success

Profitable Facebook® Ads - 6 Top Tips for Success

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If you’re an online course creator or a membership site owner, who is 

  1. Launching your first Facebook® Ad Campaign, 
  2. Optimizing an existing Facebook® Ad Campaign
  3. Wants to scale a successful Facebook® Ad Campaign, 

Then read on because this post is for you.

Today I am going to share 6 top tips from the trenches that will set you up for Facebook® Ad success. 

Leverage the Power of Lookalike & Retargeting Audiences 

Let’s start with Lookalike and Retargeting audiences. People are always excited and eager to get cold interest and behaviour based to convert. 

However, if you want to build profitable Facebook® Ad campaigns your audience arsenal will have to include Lookalike and Retargeting audiences. 

Suitably sized lookalike and retargeting audiences will almost always outperform cold interest and behaviour based audiences. Yes, the recent Apple iOS 14.5 update is having an impact on our ability to build these audiences but contrary to popular belief, it is not destroying Facebook® ads. 

There is a lot of misunderstanding about iOS 14.5 and the impact it is having. In April 2021 Apple released an update to its mobile operating system which powers all iPhones and iPads. Once installed it upgraded the software of the device to version iOS 14.5.

One of the features of this update was to block tracking pixels, including the Facebook Pixel, from reporting on the actions that iPhone and iPad users took on 3rd party sites (ie your website).

This specifically prevents Facebook from adding people with the iOS14.5 update installed to a custom audience for you to retarget with specific ads at a later stage, however, all is not lost.

The fact is it’s not blocking Facebook® from tracking who’s taking those actions, it is only blocking the reporting of these actions. Facebook® still knows who is taking the actions on your website based on the pixel. It still knows who those people are. So your lookalike audiences are not going to be impacted in the same way as your standard retargeting audiences. 

In addition, there are several ways to get around the iOS 14.5 update. One method is to use a program like Zapier. In my mind, Zapier is an essential tool for the modern marketer. 

If you are not familiar with Zapier you can think of it as a concierge who has a set of operational instructions who looks for certain events in one software program and when a specific outcome occurs performs a defined action in either the same program or one of 3,000 other integrated programs.

In our Facebook example, your pixel might be blocked from reporting any action taken once they visit your opt-in page, but with Zapier, either based on data received through your opt-in page builder, shopping cart, or email platform you can report back to Facebook the event outcome and add that person to a custom audience and follow up with retargeting ads. 

This very simple to set up workflow will ensure your retargeting audiences will operate at a similar level to pre-iOS 14.5 times. It’ll also give the option to build your lookalike audiences from the people who’ve taken the action that you want on your website. 

While we are talking about iOS 14.5 I do have to mention the impact on reporting within Facebook®. While I have provided a solution to building custom audiences for retargeting one of the big impacts is the fact that your reports on Cost Per Lead or Cost Per Acquisition will be flawed.

Please make sure that you have established a reporting system outside of Facebook that combines data from Facebook®, your opt-in page builder, shopping cart, or email platform to provide you with an active assessment of your true campaign metrics.

When it comes to lookalikes and retargeting, the most important thing is to start your audiences from day one. Even before you start running ads, you need to plan and set up the retargeting audiences that you want to leverage in the future. 

I always start broad with an audience of everyone who visits your website. From there I define ever more specific sub audiences based on the pages they visit and what that tells me about their preferences and likelihood of taking follow-up actions.  

This means building retargeting audiences based on people who visit specific pages or who have an interest in specific areas of your website. 

Based on this you can retarget these audiences with ads for specific lead magnets or offers based on their past behavior and preferences. 

Another valuable audience is your blog visitors. If somebody’s visited your blog, that means they’ve engaged with your content. You can now make assumptions about their knowledge of “the problem” you solve, how you solve it, and where they are on their journey. 

The first step in setting up your Ads for success is to create custom audiences for each of your landing pages, opt-ins, thank you pages, upsell pages, and down funnel steps. I can’t tell you how often I have undertaken a campaign audit only to find that this simple but essential step has been skipped.

The further down the funnel and closer to the ultimate conversion point the more valuable an audience is. However, this value is often offset by the size of the audience as fewer people graduate to the lower levels of a funnel.

The first level of the audience could be people who interact with your ad on Facebook®. This will be the largest retargeting audience but also the weakest. 

Level 2 may be people who visit your opt-in page. Now, something caught these people’s attention on Facebook sufficiently enough that they took action and visited the opt-in page. 

However, this audience includes lots of people who decided not to opt-in but also a percentage of people who do go on to take further action and go to the next phase of the funnel.

Level 3 may be people who visit your opt-in thank you page. That is people who have completed the opt-in process and have been directed to the success page.

When you build a Lookalike audience you ask Facebook to go out and find a percentage (1-10%) of the population of a specific country or countries that look most like your base audience.

The closer the audience is to taking the ultimate action you desire the more specific the data Facebook® will have to base their Lookalike audience on. However, the fewer the people in the audience the less data Facebook® has to work with and the more difficult it will be for Facebook® to identify the defining traits that will make people more likely to take the action that you want.

As a result Lookalike audiences work best on a base audience of at least 1,000 people. When you are starting it might take you some time to get to a point where 1,000 people have opted into your lead magnet. That is the reason why you might start with a higher level audience to start with and then move to lower levels as the size of your audience grow.

Like most things Facebook® Ad related, it is always best to test, however. I have had great results with Lookalike audiences of under a hundred people. In one specific campaign, a 5% Lookalike of a lead magnet thank you page which had 86 visits outperformed the original interest-based audience by a factor of two meaning that the leads from the Lookalike audience cost half the price of the interest-based audience. 

Larger Audiences Are Outperforming Smaller Audiences

In a slightly counterintuitive twist, larger audiences are trending toward outperforming smaller audiences. The old metric was that your perfect audience size was somewhere in the region of 1.5 to 2 million people. And if you had multiple audiences that were three, five, six, seven, 10 million, you’d split those up into smaller segments, because that was the optimum size for ad set budget optimization. 

But now what I’m seeing is that the bigger the audience’s size, the better results they’re getting.

Facebook® has recently made target expansion on audiences mandatory. Up until recently, you could choose whether to switch target expansion on or not. 

Target expansion allows Facebook® to go outside the audience you define while respecting any specific demographics like age, sex, and location if it thinks it can get you more results.  

In announcing this Facebook® said that with detailed targeting expansion on, especially in interest-based audiences, there is a 37% decrease in cost. 

Not only that but they found in website custom audiences that lookalike expansion gave a 17.3% decrease in costs. And with custom lists, a decrease in costs by 10.1%. 

What Facebook® is doing in the background is, it’s spending X% of the budget you specified on your ad sets, but it’s also siphoning off a little bit of money and spending it in other places where it thinks it could potentially get better results for you. And then if it gets good results, it spends more and more money on these audiences.

There’s absolutely no question or doubt that the Facebook® AI is not in a position to 100% select our audiences for us, but this development is pointing to a real statement of intent for the future. 

All this to comfort you as to why it is a good idea to make your audiences as big as possible, feed the Facebook® AI as much data as possible, and let it do its thing.

Personally, I always keep the AI honest by testing multiple versions of the Lookalike audience. 

Let’s say you’ve got a thank you page from a lead magnet. You build the audience of people who visited the thank you page, and then you ask Facebook® to build a Lookalike audience of the 1% of the population of a specific country that looks most like the people who have visited this page. 

Intuitively you may think that the 1% of the population that looks most like the people who have visited your thank you page will perform better than a 3% or 4% or a 5% audience, but actually, in many cases, it doesn’t and the wider audiences outperform the smaller ones. 

When it comes to audiences, remember ABT – Always Be Testing and the most important part of testing is making sure that you’re collating and analyzing the best possible data and that every decision you make is backed up by that data. 

Split Audiences Into Dedicated Ad Sets For Testing

Often when auditing an underperforming ad campaign, I see multiple interests and behaviors and lookalike audiences, all mixed into one Ad Set. While this is certainly meeting the requirement of bigger is better from an audience perspective it is far from helpful when it comes to optimizing your Facebook® Ads.

Essentially what that means is, you don’t know which audience is working, which audience isn’t working, which audience you should drop, and which audience you should put more budget into. 

Always separate your primary interest, and behavior, retargeting, and Lookalike audiences into separate ad sets. 

Initially, you’re going to have to control how many Ad Sets you have. If you are only starting, your overall campaign budget may be lower. 

This will pose a problem because to exit learning each Ad Set must hit 50 instances of your nominated objective or conversion events that you set. 

When launching a Facebook® Ad campaign your first goal is to ensure each Ad Set exit learning. It is only after exiting learning that your costs will even out and you can begin to optimize your campaign.

So let’s say you have five Ad Sets, and each one of those Ad Sets has to hit 50 conversions each week, which means 250 conversions in that week. Now that’s fine on bigger budgets, but let’s say if it’s costing you $5 per conversion, now we can see that’s a total weekly spend of $1,250 per week or $150 per day. 

Now a $150 per day budget is tiny for a lot of advertisers but if you are starting out facing an unknown cost per conversion and an unknown Earning Per Lead this may be a little daunting.

I normally set Course Creators and Membership Site Owners who are new to Facebook® Advertising up with two to three Ad Sets, featuring three Ads per Ad Set in each. 

Once the campaign is up and running this gives you enough variance to assess winners and losers, and then introduce new audiences overtime when the losing audiences are dropped. 

You always want to give an audience five to seven days to settle down to give Facebook® an opportunity to work out the best people in the audience to display your Ads to. 

And remember, as you initially refine your Ad copy, opt-in page and funnel audiences that may not have worked in the past could work better with the revised copy so it is always worth retesting audiences over time. With different audiences, you’re going through a continual process, like refining your ad copy, refining your opt-in page and funnel. 

Remember your audience messaging match is hugely important too. Small tweaks to your Ad copy based on the specific audience may have a big impact on the end result. This could be one or two words in the Ad but always be conscious of the people you are talking about and how you could potentially tailor your Ad copy for them.

One of the key metrics that will tell you whether your audience and messaging match is your CPM (Cost Per Thousand Impressions). If you’re getting a high CPM, it means that the message for your audience is off or that the language of your Ad could be approaching a breach of Facebook’s Advertising Policies. 

The goal of Facebook’s Advertising Policy is to safeguard its users’ experience. They want their users’ feed to be a safe and enjoyable place to be. It’s what keeps users coming back to the platform. Your Ad copy may not breach a policy but if it isn’t contributing to a positive experience, or if Facebook® doesn’t feel like it is adding value to its users’ feed you will be penalized with higher CPM.

If your goal is a profitable Facebook® Ad Campaign having a solid audience testing strategy is key. To appropriately test audiences it is essential that you split them into separate Ad Sets and track their performance. 

When to Use Ad Set Budget Optimization (ABO) and When To Use Campaign Budget Optimization (CBO)

When you are launching a Facebook® Ad Campaign one of the first decisions you are faced with is whether to use Ad Set Budget Optimization (ABO) or Campaign Budget Optimization (CBO).

 During the early stages of a campaign when you are testing creative and testing audiences you should always start with ABO.

ABO lets you set an individual budget for each one of your Ad Sets which forces each Ad Set to spend the budget assigned to it. This will give you a solid basis to assess each audience individually and make a decision on your best-performing audiences.

As mentioned earlier in this post, we need each ad set to exit learning as quickly as possible As a result when you are starting, especially with low budgets, you want to limit your campaigns to 2-3 ad sets with a minimum of 3 ads per ad set.

Once you get your initial ad sets up and running you then enter the optimization phase, testing, honing, refining the creative and audiences until you reach the point where you are happy with your conversion rates and your CPL or CPA

At this stage, you’re going to want to scale your campaign. This is when you move from ABO to CBO. 

Campaign Budget Optimization hands more of the power and decision-making process back to Facebook®. This is not wise early in the campaign as there are too many variables at play, but once you have figured out your winning combinations it’s time to hand the reins back over to Facebook® and give them the flexibility to find those who will be most likely to take the action that you define.

When you move to CBO, you have to make sure that you give Facebook® even bigger audiences to work with. A common initial CBO campaign will feature one super audience containing all your audiences from ABO combined into one.

This one super audience will be used in 4-5 ad sets with the exact same ads in each. This seems a bit strange I know, but in effect what Facebook will do is venture into different pockets within the audience to figure out who will be most likely to convert. 

Once you exit your learning phase, now there are a number of different strategies you can pursue.

You could go with one ad set with all your audiences and let that scale. Or you could possibly go with a super broad audience, where your only definition of the audience is a demographic like age and location. Alternatively, you could go with multiple % lookalike audiences: a 1% lookalike audience, a 2% lookalike audience, and so on with the 3%, 4%, 5% lookalikes. 

That gives you plenty of options in terms of scaling because the more finite you make your audience, the higher your CPM will be. By making it super broad and moving the budget to a campaign level, you’re giving Facebook® much more control.

2 Ways to Scaling Your Ad Set Budget Optimization Campaigns

In order to get to the level of ad spend that makes it viable to move to CBO, you are first going to have to scale your ABO campaigns. Let’s say you begin testing with a $50 budget a day, and things are working out. You have identified your winning creative and you are now looking to scale.

You have no idea how many times I have seen people bump their ABO budgets from a daily budget of $50 all the way to $200, only for the ads which were doing so well up to this point collapse and die.

You can only scale your ad spend by 20% of the budget every 72 hours. So if you’re starting with a budget of $50 a day, it means that you can only increase the budget to $60 in the next step. If you exceed this daily budget you’re likely to reset learning and there is no guarantee that your ads will exit learning in the same way as they entered learning. 

72 hours after this initial change you can then increase the budget again from $60 to $72. Now, most people, if they get their ads up and running, they’re uncomfortable with moving at that slower pace. 

For the majority of people in my audience you may be coming up to a launch, a big promotion, or maybe you have a webinar just around the corner and your ad campaign has a specific deadline so the slow and steady budget increases can be frustrating. Well, the good news is that there are several ways around this and there are two approaches to scaling which I like to use.

The first is vertical scaling, which is what we’ve been talking about thus far in this section, and that is increasing the budget of an ad set. The second is horizontal scaling, and that is scaling through the addition of extra audiences.

One of the best ways to scale horizontally is through the addition of larger lookalike audiences. Let’s say you have a lookalike audience of visitors to a thank you page, or lookalike visitors to the opt-in page itself, depending on how long the campaign has been running and the size of the base audiences. 

If you are currently using a 1% lookalike of the thank you page, one strategy is to duplicate the ad set and use a 2%-5% lookalike audience and set the new budget to $150 or $200.

If we needed more spend we could undertake a similar process using a 5%-8% lookalike 

Another approach is to introduce new interests or behaviours. Bringing in additional interests and behaviours is always tricky because the audience might not necessarily respond in the same way and you are introducing a new variable to the campaign. 

In addition to the horizontal scaling strategies we also have a vertical scaling strategy to get around the 20% every 72-hour rule.  

This is to simply duplicate the ad set keeping everything the same but increasing the budget of your new ad set to your desired level.

 In effect, this will put the new ads in direct competition with the old ads targeting the same audience, but this has a high success rate. 

One downside to this strategy is that your new ad set will start the learning phase again but Facebook will be able to leverage the previous data accumulated. A big upside is that the original high-performance ad will continue unaffected. 

When this strategy is shared with people, many worry about competing against themselves. What you have to realize is you’re competing with hundreds of thousands of other advertisers who are targeting your audience. So the little increase in your budget is not going to have a discernible impact on your overall CPM. 

One word of caution with this strategy is to watch duplicate reporting between the two ad sets. As the same people are in both audiences if someone opts in through one ad having been shown an ad from the other ad set it is likely that they will be double reported in both ad sets. 

But remember what I said earlier in this post, you need to have a way to independently verify the Facebook® reporting and a second method for calculating your Cost Per Lead and Cost Per Acquisition.

Never Ever Kill The Golden Goose

Number six is one that most Facebook® Advertisers encounter and they normally experience it at the very worst time possible. And that is that you never, ever kill the golden goose. 

If you have an ad that is performing, never make any changes to that ad or to that ad set. It is always best to duplicate your ad into a new ad set, or even into a new campaign if you’re switching objectives.

This rule applies to any edits outside of your 20% budget increases, anything that has to do with changing images, videos, headlines, body copy, or audience changes. 

When people optimize their ads, normally they are cutting their losers and introducing new creative. But, never forget that a good optimization approach is the incremental improvement of your best-performing ads. 

And that is when it gets dangerous. Never be tempted to make changes to the winning ad or ad set because that’s going to drive it back into learning, and unfortunately, as weird as this may sound it may not come back out of learning in the same way. 

So, yes, this might cause some untidiness in your campaign and possibly some headaches from a budgeting perspective, trying to match up the budgets and getting everything to balance, but it protects your CPL until you have other ads that are outperforming it. 

Today we’ve presented a “what’s working now” report from the Facebook ® ad trenches. 

I know there is a lot to unpack in this post but hopefully what we have outlined above will save you hours of frustration, and lots of $’s as you launch and scale your profitable Facebook® ad campaigns.

So, let me know what challenges you face with your Facebook® ads, whether you’re just getting started or you’re a seasoned pro looking to scale your ad campaigns. 

Know someone who would like this post? Share it with them on social… 

Key Principles to Plan, Launch and Scale a Profitable Facebook Ads Campaign (Part 1)

Facebook Ad Strategy: How To Plan, Launch, and Scale a Profitable Facebook Ad Campaign

Facebook Ad Strategy: How To Plan, Launch, and Scale a Profitable Facebook Ad Campaign

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The costs were piling up. She felt like she was going round and round in circles. And no matter what she did, she just couldn’t get her Facebook ads to work. She had a great membership and the results she got for her members were amazing, but she just couldn’t draw people into her world. She couldn’t bring enough people in to give her a sense that her business was working. 

She was frustrated, she was angry. She was almost about to shut down her business. She felt like Facebook had defeated her. But when we applied this framework in her business, everything changed. 

If you are an online course creator or a membership site owner who is either about to launch a Facebook ad campaign, has a Facebook ad campaign that’s underperforming, or you have a Facebook ad campaign that’s working well and now you want to scale it, then this post is for you. 

I’m a huge believer in principles. The online world is full of hacks and tricks and sure they can work, for a while at least.  But when you bring things back to a principle level, that is when you can have certainty that what you are about to do will have long-term success


The principles in this post are essential for the long-term success of your Facebook Ads and indeed your business. If you get this wrong, you will struggle with every campaign that you launch. You’ll constantly be fighting against Facebook and it will feel like an uphill battle. Your ads will cost more. Your leads will be more expensive. And what’s worse, when you make an offer to your leads, they might not even convert. 

Ultimately, your ads will be unprofitable and you will struggle to scale your online business growth through PPC.

But if you get this right, you will have a process to follow that will enable you to produce high-quality, cost-effective, or cost-neutral leads that convert when you make an offer to them.. 

Ultimately, if you crack this, you will be enabling your business to have an unlimited lead generation budget, as your lead generation process will cover its costs.

Facebook Advertising is Dead…. Or is it??

Not a day goes by that I don’t see somebody complaining that they can’t get their Facebook ad campaigns to work. 

“Facebook advertising is dead” 

“Facebook ads only work for people in XXXXXX niche.”

“I can’t find my audience on Facebook”. 

“Facebook is just out to screw people over.” 

None of this is true! And I think that a lot of people misunderstand the game that they’re playing. 

Neil deGrasse Tyson once said: “The universe is not under any obligation to make sense to you.” What he was trying to say is, a lot of people look at the universe and if they don’t understand something, they say, “No, that couldn’t be right.” Or, “Well, that’s not the way it works,” because it just doesn’t make sense to them. 

They go against the facts just because it doesn’t make sense. 

Now, if we were to adapt that saying for the online marketing world, it would be:

Facebook is not under any obligation to build your business” or “Facebook is not under any obligation to give you cheap leads”. 

You have to understand the game that you’re playing. You have to understand the rules. You have to be equipped to win. If you go into this half-baked, you will lose. And that’s a fact.

In the early days of  Facebook advertising, things were simple,  all you had to do was put $1 in and you got back $5. With very little in the way of strategy or deep tactics even the uninitiated could get amazing results.

But today it’s a different story. As more and more people see the potential of Facebook Ads and begin to advertise the more cash enters the ad market. 

The real-estate available to Facebook to advertise on (as in the number of newsfeeds etc of their members) although continuing to increase is relatively fixed. As Facebook is an auction-based market, the greater the amount of cash bidding on a relatively fixed level of inventory, the higher the price will go. 

This increase disproportionately impacts popular audiences and segments so if you are targeting people who have appeal to a large number of advertisers your Ad costs will increase even greater than other audiences. And, remember this is just your direct competitors but advertisers in other industries which may also want the attention of your audience.

#1 Mistake Infopreneurs Make When Getting Into Facebook Ads

One of the main mistakes I see people make with Facebook Ads is that they don’t start out with a specific Facebook ad strategy. The depth of many people’s strategy is to create a lead magnet (the one that is easiest and quickest to create) get their opt-in page built (as quickly as possible)  and start running Facebook ads to “build their list”. 

But they don’t have a clear plan to cover the cost of their leads. Everything in business and marketing should start with a strategy. And this is especially true for Facebook ads because there’s a lot at risk. It can get expensive. It can be time-consuming. 

You need a plan to monetize the leads once they start coming in. I don’t agree with the term list-building. To me, this is an aimless, pointless task. Your campaign needs to bring people towards a very specific outcome. That could be an immediate promotion or a promotion in three weeks but there has to be a very specific outcome and a very specific plan to get a positive return on your lead generation investment.

Now here’s the funny thing. Facebook ads and launches don’t necessarily go perfectly hand in hand together. In a traditional PLF Launch, the condensed workshop registration period and open cart period mean that Facebook Ads are not the most suitable promotion methods.. 

It’s hard to test and scale Facebook ads in a short period of time. This is why it is essential that we use the correct Facebook Ad strategies to support our Launch strategies. 

Before getting started with a lead generation strategy, it is beneficial to shift your mindset to thinking in terms of value optimization as opposed to building your list.

There are two main strategies we can adopt here. The stack ’em and rack ’em approach or the mini front-end liquidator

The first Facebook ad strategy, the stack ’em and rack ’em, is where we have Facebook ads going directly to an opt-in page. When somebody registers, they get sent out the lead magnet, and then they enter our email list. Hopefully, once they hit our list we have some sort of engagement sequence to keep them warm, and engaged. 

And then at some stage in the future, we’re going to offer them something. That could be 3 months from now or 6 months from now but you sit and hope, as you watch the costs pile up, that when you do make them an offer they will convert and you make your money back. 

In many ways, this was the traditional approach to Facebook ads. And when Facebook ads and leads were cheap, that strategy used to work, because it was purely a numbers game and there were big margins of error between the costs and potential returns.

However, now that Facebook ads are getting more costly and our audience’s level of awareness of the marketing strategies and tactics that marketers are using increases, we need to have a slightly more evolved approach. 

And this is the second Facebook ad strategy which is the Mini-frontend Liquidator. This is where Facebook Ads drive people to an opt-in page. The opt-in page offers a strategically developed lead magnet that helps our Perfect-Fit Prospect take the first step on our Value Ascension Roadmap

Once somebody registers for the lead magnet, they are offered a mini-product aligned with the lead magnet (and the next steps on their Value Ascension Roadmap at a low price point. The purpose of this mini-frontend offer is to liquidate the cost of the ads. 

If you’re going with something like a $27, mini-frontend product, it’s an easy decision and thought process for somebody to take out their credit card. You don’t think about spending $27. 

Now don’t interpret this as it is an easy sell. You still have to work really hard on your offer and you need to have a really compelling reason for them to make the purchase. 

With a $27 mini-frontend offer, it’s going to be hard to cover the full cost of your ads so you might need to look at a $47 or a $97 offer. Depending on your audience and the strength of your offer these will be the starting point of generating an unlimited marketing budget. 

If you want to go a step further and turn this into a profit-generating campaign you could add an upsell after that initial product to a secondary product. The initial product might contain tools, templates, or fill-in-the-blank sort of document at $27 or $47, and then you might have a secondary upsell for $197,  which could contain a video series helping people implement the first product. 

The business that can afford to pay the most to acquire a customer, will win. And this is what we are trying to achieve with this campaign We’re trying to create a situation where we can afford to pay more than our competitors to acquire a customer and still maintain profitability.  

STEP 2: Map Your Perfect-Fit Clients’ Journey

I call this your Perfect-Fit Client Value Ascension Roadmap. You need to have a very specific sequence of steps that a Perfect-Fit Client needs to take to get them from where they are today to some stage in the future when they’ve ultimately achieved the transformation that you know is possible for them. 

What I have found is that most online businesses can condense the core topics that make up their overall message into 5-7 key areas. The ideal case scenario (though be patient with how long it takes you to get here) is to have a lead magnet for each of your key areas. 

This becomes really powerful because every piece of content you create within your 5-7 key areas will automatically link to a specific lead magnet. 

When you strategically create your mini-frontend liquidator products you can cover one or a number of your key lead magnets which means that over time, every piece of content you produce becomes a revenue-generating opportunity. 

The first step is to bring people from your ad to your lead magnet, then from your lead magnet to your mini front-end product. And then you’re going to map the journey from the mini front-end product to your signature product and beyond

This through-line is hugely important because it has to be logical, and sequential bringing people in the same direction. Every step that’s taken is bringing them one step closer to the overall transformation that you know is possible for them. 

And when you’re mapping their journey the lead magnet and mini-product are providing them either with a small percentage of the overall transformation or the very next step towards the ultimate transformation. As people move higher up the Roadmap they are getting an ever-higher level of that transformation or they’re getting the same level of transformation only quicker.

And when you’re building your Facebook Ad strategy, you need to know where you want your Perfect-Fit Clients to end up. You need to know the through-line from your free front-end content all the way to your signature product and your coaching program or mastermind. It is so important to know the steps they need to take and to have pre-mapped and pre-built them into your Value Ascension Roadmap

Alignment here is key and two of the big alignment mistakes I see people  often make are:

  • MISTAKE 1: Facebook ad copy not aligned with the lead magnet or the opt-in page. This sounds strange but often, especially if the ads and the landing page have been drafted by different people, the key offer and promise of the ad copy and the offer and promise of the opt-in page or the lead magnet are not fully aligned. Storytelling is massively important in drafting Ads that drive high-quality traffic but you need to be careful you don’t bury the lead and end up confusing a potential lead. (equally as bad is where the ad copy is an exact replica of the opt-in page copy)
  • MISTAKE 2: The lead magnet is not aligned with the journey that you want to take a Perfect-Fit Client on. The lead magnet might be handy or easy for you to produce, but if it is not the best next step for a Perfect-Fit Client to take on their journey towards the transformation you can provide then it is not serving you, your business, or your Perfect-Fit Clients. The same is true of your mini-frontend products and other offers on your Value Ascension Roadmap. Everything has to be sequential and the logical next step for a Perfect-Fit Client to take.
  • TIP: Be clear on what the roadmap is for your clients and make sure that you can give them that pathway.


STEP 3: Understand The Lifetime Value Of A Perfect-Fit Client

As more and more people enter the Facebook Ad market the amount of money being bid on a relatively finite amount of ad real estate (Facebook users newsfeeds and related advertising slots) increases. This will increase the costs of the impressions and the costs of link clicks. 

And while the advertising world shakes its fists at the increases in ad costs I believe it is only an issue if you don’t have a specific Facebook ad strategy, to monetize your leads both in the short term with a self-liquidating offer and medium to long term with a Value Ascension Roadmap. It does, however, require a change in mindset from the “put a dollar in getting 5 back” to having a “play the long game” mentality.

With the increased costs of Facebook Ads, you have to be very strategic with the path you have for someone once they join your list or register for a mini-frontend product. 

You also have to have a very firm grasp on your downstream conversion rate metrics because if you know with certainty the conversion levels and rates of your downstream metrics now you can be braver with your front end spend up to the point where you will deliberately go negative on the front end because you know you will make your profits on the back end.

Here are some of the metrics you should know and track:

  • What are your lead magnet opt-in conversion rates?
  • What are your upsell conversion rates?
  • What are your conversion rates for your signature product launches? 
  • What are your conversion rates for other promotions? 
  • If you were to run a campaign for a webinar, how many people from your list would register? 
  • How many people would show up for the webinar? 
  • How many people then convert when you made an offer on your webinar? 
  • What are your conversion rates on your virtual events? 
  • How many people do you need to have to make the virtual event profitable? 
  • And when you make an offer, what percentage of those will convert into a mastermind or a group coaching program?

These are just some of the common conversion metrics that I track with my clients but every business will be slightly different.

You need to become a conversion rate nerd. Start building a database of your conversion rates for your backend offers. Because in reality, there’s no such thing as too high a lead cost. There’s no such thing as too expensive a lead. There’s only suboptimal optimization of the revenue that you produce from that lead once they come in. 

And this is why I place such emphasis on the Value Ascension Roadmap. It provides you with a clear visual of the stepping stones and levels in your business and the stages through which you will move people from free content, lead magnet, mini-frontend product, signature product, membership, group coaching program, and mastermind program. 

And when you know how many people convert from a lower level to an upper level, you can take a more strategic long-term view of your lead generation investment strategy. This is a key to your long-term success with Facebook ads. But unfortunately, it’s the one thing that most people don’t think about, nor pay attention to.

Uncover Your Facebook Ad Strategy to Launch, Plan, and Manage a Profitable Facebook Ad Campaign

We covered three things here in the Facebook ad strategy today. We compared two lead generation strategies: the stack ’em and rack ’em and the mini front-end liquidator. We looked at building your Value Ascension Roadmap for your Perfect-Fit Clients so that they always have the next step to step to and that you always have a higher value offer to put in front of them. And third, we looked at understanding the lifetime value of a Perfect-Fit Client

If you take what we have covered here and formally applied it to your business (even if you don’t have all the hard data or numbers yet) you will be ahead of 90% of Facebook Advertisers. And, guess what. You don’t need to be the world’s best Facebook advertiser to get great results, you just need to be a couple of steps ahead of the pack in your niche.

I know Facebook ads can be a frustrating area, so let me know what your challenges are. What challenges do you face with Facebook ads? Whether you’re just getting started or whether you’re a seasoned pro looking to scale your campaign, drop me a comment below and I promise I’ll answer you.

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6 Ways To Improve Your Facebook Ads Performance​

6 Ways To Improve Your Facebook Ads Performance

6 Ways To Improve Your Facebook Ads Performance

Table of Contents

Neil deGrasse Tyson famously coined the phrase “The Universe is under no obligation to make sense to you”. In the online marketing world, I like to say “Facebook is under no obligation to provide you with cheap leads”

Facebook’s job is to serve our ads to the people who are most likely to take the desired action we specify. Facebook is extremely good at this and remember, it is in their best interest to seek out the very best people to get the result we desire so that we will come back and spend more money with them.

However, despite the various metrics we use to judge the effectiveness of adverts, Facebook is paid based on the ads they serve. How much you pay is based on the auction for available ad inventory based on your bid (budget) and performance (ad quality).

Everything that happens after that is based on the ability of our ads and landing pages to capture people’s attention and move them emotionally to a point where they are willing to take the action we desire (eg. watch a video, opt-in for a lead magnet, or purchase a product) The profitability of our ads is dictated by the quality of our funnel and the revenue opportunities that we create once a lead enters our world.

So once Facebook has delivered ads to the most suitable individuals the ball is firmly in our court and despite all the panic and hype over iOS 14 and the ever-increasing costs of advertising, it is still possible to run very profitable Facebook Ads campaigns once you understand the rules and play the game.

Before You Start…Understand The (Facebook Ads) Game You Are Playing

When it comes to maximizing your return on Facebook Ads, there is a hierarchy of elements that I work through to optimize the ads and funnel. Different people will have slightly different approaches. The most important thing is to have some structured way of thinking about the launch and optimization of your Facebook Ads and your Funnel. Without a structured approach you will be likely to end up running in circles, producing hit and miss results, or worse still never getting your Facebook Ad Campaigns off the ground.

These are listed in order of priority and in the order that I use when launching or reviewing Client Facebook Ad Campaigns.

Let’s get started!

1. Your Facebook Ads And Facebook Ad Funnel Strategy

The costs of ads are increasing as more and more advertisers enter the market and consumers become more sophisticated and marketing aware. It is important to have a fully thought-through Facebook ad strategy to convert your PPC leads to paying clients and then optimize their lifetime value. This is one of the reasons I love putting a Self-Liquidating Offer upfront, in Facebook campaigns, but is also why having a Value Ascension Roadmap is essential.

The business that can afford to pay the most to acquire a customer will win. You can achieve this by maximizing your Average Order Value on the front end and then having multiple back-end offers overtime always providing your Perfect-Fit Client with a next-level or offer to step up to. This will maximize each client’s lifetime value and give you comfort as to the amount you can spend on the front end to acquire a Perfect-Fit Client.

This also demonstrates that the goal is not to get the lowest cost front-end lead but the lead that will convert best and produce the maximum lifetime value. It is very rare that a Facebook Ad Campaign will be profitable on the front end. You need to plan accordingly and while it is tempting to look for the lowest CPL on the front end these might not be your Perfect-Fit Clients who will produce the most revenue in the long term.

2. Your Offer Is Key To The Success Of Your Facebook Ads

As with all things marketing and sales the most important element is your Offer. In the case of FB Ads you have multiple layers to the offer and each one is important in moving people to the next step of the process and ultimately converting taking the action that you want.

Your offer is the compelling reason why someone needs to take action now. This has nothing to do with you, your product or how you do what you do. The offer is only compelling if it can help your client avoid pain or gain pleasure. You have to show them how their life will be better when they take the next step.

The first offer that you need them to accept is to stop and pay attention. The next offer is to get them to read the ad copy. Then the final offer (from the Ads perspective) is getting them to leave Facebook and visit your opt-in page. Each one of these “offers” also has to position them for the next step and ultimately registering for your lead magnet or whatever upsell is going to come their way.

Self-interest rules all else. We are inherently lazy and we have evolved to conserve energy above all else. You need to present a compelling offer for how you are going to save the viewer time, money, emotional distress, effort, or the flip side of these. Unfortunately, most people will do more to avoid pain than attain pleasure, but it is always worth testing positive and negative. Broad, generic, high level promises make for weak offers. You need to be concrete, specific, speak to a pain point that your audience has and show them how their lives can be better.

3. People Often Over Look Landing Page Optimization To Reduce Facebook Ads Costs Per Lead

Very often people confuse a Facebook “cost per lead problem” with a “landing page optimization problem”. Your base level target for conversions should be somewhere in the region of 40% but really your target should be up to 60%. (I have gotten far higher, but this only comes over time, with traffic and a specific optimization plan). Even with the best Facebook traffic in the world if your landing page is underperforming there is no hope that you will get a CPL that you are happy with.

If you are getting, even a low level of traffic from Facebook, I look to optimize the landing pages early in play. The reason for this is that changes in the messaging and offer will have an impact on the copy and approach in the Facebook ads as does it impact the audience that Facebook selects to show your ads to. Taking your landing page conversion rate from 20% to 40% will cut your cost per lead by 50%. This is one of the big 80/20 levers in Facebook Ads and it deserves a lion’s share of your time and attention.

The offer on your landing page has to match or be aligned with the offer in your ad and you should also align with your offer further down the funnel. While it is worthwhile and indeed a good way to test your landing page copy one version of an ad can quote the landing page copy verbatim, but you also want to test at least 3 other different angles for ad copy. The key to success is that the landing page feels like the next step on your audiences journey from the Ad to the transformation that you promise in your offer. 

The 3 key elements on your opt-in page are the headline, image, and body copy. Start your optimization with the headline and then move through the body copy and image in that order. Remember that you should only optimize one element of the funnel at any one time and give 3 days for the optimization to settle before declaring a winner and moving on.

The reason for this is that a tweak to a headline in an ad may send more traffic to the registration page but they might not convert as well or they could convert better on the registration page but result in a lower conversion rate on the front end offer. You have to give time for the changes to update throughout the funnel and Facebook time to find a more suitable audience for your updated content.

4. Tune Up Your Facebook Ad Creative For Even Better Results

The first thing that you need to do with your Ad is to get them to stop scrolling. Therefore your Ad image or video is so important. You must give them a reason to stop. Native images tend to work better than graphically design images. I always try a couple of variations of each.

Videos can perform better at all levels of the Funnel but your video needs to be 45 – 60 seconds long and it needs to verbalize your offer in a slightly different manner than the ad copy. It can be harder to fine-tune a video to convert but when it does you can normally optimize it for cheaper leads than images.

Once you have their attention your initial “offer” is to get them to consume your ad content. This is where the headline and the first two lines of text come in. You need to compel people to want to click the “See More” link.

Eye-tracking testing has shown that people look first to the image/video, then the headline, and then to the first two lines of text.

If you have done your job really well most people won’t bother clicking “See more” on the ad and they will click the button to visit your opt-in page. If they do click the read more the job of your body copy is to do one thing and one thing only. Build enough curiosity, intrigue, and self-interest that they take action and visit your opt-in page.

Initially, I always start with short, medium, and long-form copy. The short-form copy is great for testing headlines, the results from which can inform the optimization of your landing page later in play.

In the initial phases, it can be easier to get the short form copy to convert but overtime longer form copy will normally outperform short-form copy. (Though every campaign is different and there are always exceptions) Every word in your ad matters and if that word is not driving the audience member forward to register for your opt-in it is giving them a reason not to.

While your job is to rack the shotgun to attract your Perfect-Fit Client and repel others you never want to give your Perfect-Fit Client an opportunity to say “no that is not me” or “no this is not for me”. Be hyper-specific on the feelings, emotions, circumstances, etc. that you 100% know your Perfect-Fit Client experiences but make sure that you don’t unitedly repel the people you most want to attract.

There is no neutral copy and there is no room for any filler or unessential words. Be ruthless, your ad shouldn’t contain one word more than it absolutely needs to. Over time you figure out what words and sentences are working, and which ones are hurting. This is how you build really effective long-form Ad copy.

5. Fine Tune Your Facebook Ads Audience To Target The Most Relevant People

One of the most common mistakes I see people make with Facebook Ads is they rush to “the ask” too quickly with a cold audience who have no idea who you are, what you do, or how you can help them. The best way I have seen this described is – Let’s suppose you were single and looking to settle down with a partner. You are out one day, and you see someone that you think you might really like. What do you think your chances of forming a relationship are if you walk right up to the person and ask them to marry you?

The chance of a favorable outcome is slim. However, if you walked confidently up to the person and started a conversation with them, finding out more about who they are, what their hobbies are, and find some common ground. It gives you an opportunity to find out if this person is a potential “Perfect-Fit” partner and indeed give them a chance to do the same.

When you have the appropriate level of trust built then you can ask them for a coffee and if further down the road things progress that is brilliant but to form a strong relationship you must build the appropriate level of trust before moving to the next level of your relationship.

It is the same when it comes to Facebook Ads. In order to do this it is important that your Facebook ad strategy contains 3 levels of campaigns:

a. Top Of Funnel Facebook Ads Campaigns

These are value-based content ads with no ask. The purpose of this portion of the funnel is solely to interact and engage with potential Perfect-Fit Clients. Cast your net wide using interest-based or custom (email list, customer list, etc.) retargeting and broad Lookalike audiences to build topic-specific audiences for retargeting lower in the funnel.

Video is massively effective for Top Of Funnel ads, especially in a post iOS 14 world. You can create audiences of people who have watched different percentages of each video and then retarget them with your Middle of Funnel ads.

As all the interaction occurs on Facebook you can track you people who have viewed your videos for up to 365 days even if they have opted out of iOS tracking and as you can specify to only build audiences from people who have looked at 75% or 100% of the video you know these people are open and interested in your message.

b. Middle Of Funnel Facebook Ads Campaigns

Once you have created a retargeting audience of a suitable size from your Top Of Funnel campaign you can then begin to retarget that audience with “an ask”. Think of this as inviting your potential “Perfect-Fit” partner for coffee.

Your Middle of Funnel ads will direct people to a landing page where you will be asking them to opt-in or register for free, for something of value, like a lead magnet, webinar, quiz, or masterclass.

It is always good to test a range of audiences, especially in the early days of a campaign, against your Top Of Funnel re-targeting audience as you may need to refine the content of your engagement videos to hone in on the message that produces the best results lower in the funnel.

c. Bottom Of Funnel Facebook Ads Campaigns

In our “Perfect-Fit” partner analogy this is where you ask for the commitment. Your Bottom of Funnel Ads retarget the people who have taken the designated action from the Middle of Funnel and have raised their hands to say they are most interested in you, your message the transformation that you can provide.

Your Bottom Of Funnel Ads will have the lowest level of spend but the highest ROI as you are only showing ads to the people who are most likely to make a purchase.

With this audience, it is important to strike when the iron is hot. 0-3 days is when they will be most receptive to an offer and for every day past this time frame your offer, copy and collateral will have to be ever more honed and refined to convert appropriately.

Sure, lots of people have had some success with implementing this strategy but if you want long-term repeatable success this methodology has been proven to work and it is an essential framework to keep in mind when you are structuring your campaigns.

6. Facebook Ads – What’s Working Now – Tips From The Trenches

On top of these principles there are a couple of “what’s working now” tips to keep you on top of what is working practically now:

  • Bigger audiences are performing better than smaller audiences. The sweet spot for audiences used to be 1.5 million to 2.5 million. Previously if your audience you built was in excess of these ranges we would split the audiences down and run them in different Ad Sets. Now bigger is better and audiences of 15 million to 20 million are outperforming smaller audiences. I worked on one project where the only targeting we used was country-based. Facebook still found the perfect people to serve the ads to and the CPL cash flowed within our funnel.
  • Retargeting and Lookalike audiences will outperform interest-based audiences. Build your audiences for each step of your funnel before you need them. Once an audience hits critical mass create a Lookalike Audience based on that. The closer your custom audience is to the conversion objective the better your Lookalike audience will perform. But think of every touchpoint along your funnel as a potential audience – Video views, link clicks, page visits, button clicks, step 2 of a 2 step opt-in, registration thank you page confirmation, lead-magnet download.
  • Ad Set Budget Optimization (ABO) works better than Campaign Budget Optimization (CBO)for testing creative and audiences, however, CBO is the best way to scale. Start your ads out with ABO. Ideally, you will start with 3 Ad Sets with a minimum of 3 Ads Per Ad Set. At lower daily budgets this may be a stretch as 3 Ad Sets may struggle to exit the learning phase but always think in terms of multiple audiences, copy, and images/videos. Your campaign will be severely limited if you only have one ad and one ad set.
  • Give 3-5 days before making any significant changes to your Ad Sets and Ads. It takes time for Facebook to find and optimize audiences. Sometimes this means the initial results are poor. Sometimes it means that the initial results are brilliant. One way or another don’t make any big decisions until the 3-5 day window has elapsed. (3 days for minor changes, 5 days for major changes)
  • Never ever kill the golden goose. If you have an Ad Set/Ad that is performing adequately never ever make any changes to that Ad Set / Ad. Duplicate the Ad Set or Ad into a new Ad Set or Campaign and make changes to the duplicate. This includes budget increases, image/video, headline, body copy, or audience changes.
  • If you need to scale Ad Set/Campaign budget quicker than the 20% every 72-hour limit that pushes the Ads back into Learning Phase you explore creating a broader Lookalike audience excluding your current audience eg. Current LAL audience 1%-2% then create 2%-5% LAL or 5% – 10% audience. This will allow you to duplicate the Ad Set, assigning a higher daily budget without killing the original ad off. (You can also create a competing Ad Set targeting the exact same audience, but this strategy is a little bit riskier)

While the principles above are well established and proven to produce the best results no two campaigns are alike and the people who are most successful are the ones which can assess each situation independently and arrive at the best next step.

Launching and maintaining a successful Facebook Ad Campaign is an agile process. The most important thing is knowing what tests to run, how to interpret the feedback, and then identify the next best steps while playing within the rules of the Facebook Ads game.

If you would like to schedule a Focus Strategy Session to review an existing Facebook Ad Campaign or plan your next campaign click here 

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